Multi-Hyphenating: Not Just For Celebrities Any More

multi-hyphenating

Career Kuel Thought Leader: Gayle Petrillo

Have you heard of multi-hyphenating?

“It’s not an extreme way of living; humans are multifaceted by nature..”

I hadn’t until I was on a zoom call with a very talented friend on the other side of the country. My friend is an accomplished television anchor, actor, singer, health coach, and public speaker. She commented that both of us are multi-hyphenating individuals. Like me, many of you are as well.

I decided to do a bit of research, thinking it was a relatively new term. Evidently, it was originally coined to describe celebrities. 

I found an article in Vogue (April 21, 2021) by Emma Gannon referring to her book written in 2017. Not that long ago. Gannon said, “I wrote my book The Multi-Hyphen Method (Hodder & Stoughton) because I wanted to rebrand the portfolio career and celebrate the life of having fingers in various pies. It’s not an extreme way of living; humans are multifaceted by nature and many of us don’t just do one thing, we have interests outside of work, and juggle side-hustles. The book wasn’t meant to necessarily be for everyone, many people enjoy having one job and one focus, but I wanted to write about those like me, who thrived from having multiple projects on at once and switching hats between roles.”

“Those of us with several professions, multiple skill sets or holding many jobs are multi-hyphenating.”

The Reaction During The Pandemic:

During the Pandemic, the terminology perfectly chronicled everyday workers who added job titles to ones they already had. When certain jobs went by the wayside or employees reluctantly were forced to work from home, whether out of boredom or a need to earn extra money, individuals walked not just their own pets, but pets of their elderly neighbors. 

When the demand for masks grew bigger and faster than the supply chain could maintain, our colleagues and friends unearthed their sewing machines or purchased new ones, and stitched away, creating unique masks for everyone’s size, favorite color, hobby, or interest.

Holding Many Jobs Is A Sign Of Multi-Hyphenating:

I quickly realized that this terminology described the latest rendition of me to a tee. 

Those of us with several professions, multiple skill sets, or holding many jobs are multi-hyphenating. It’s not about working two or more jobs in order to balance or maintain our lifestyle financially. Rather, it’s making a choice to do more than one thing in order to live the life we love. It’s about dedicating our time to the many things that reflect who we are and remembering that we are not defined by just one job title. 

“It’s imperative that we remember the term multi-hyphenated isn’t about multitasking.”

For me, it’s career and confidence coaching. I conduct customer service and business etiquette trainings; have authored a book; write blogs; and, I speak to numerous groups as a burn survivor who has overcome fears, phobias, and other obstacles to inspire others and to let my audience know they are not alone. 

I also volunteer for a number of local non-profits, serving on boards of directors, attending events and fundraising.

These multi-hyphenated activities feed my soul. 

Multi-Hyphenated Isn’t About MultiTasking:

As women, we are always multi-tasking. It seems to come naturally to us. Our partners of the male persuasion frequently are either at a loss as to how we do it, or expect us to do more because it looks so easy and natural from the outside.

Also, as women, we are prone to taking care of everyone around us before and/or instead of taking care of ourselves. It’s imperative that we remember the term multi-hyphenated isn’t about multitasking. Burn-out is, in part, caused by spreading ourselves too thin and taking on more than we manage. Multi-hyphenating is getting involved in numerous projects that reflect who we are inside. 

How many hats do you wear that feed your soul?

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About the Author:

Gayle Petrillo is President of First Impressions, Image Consulting. Gayle is an image consultant working with both businesses and individuals. Her services include: customer service training; team building skills; secret shopper services; gossip avoidance techniques; closet analysis; wardrobe transformations, personal shopping; employment coaching; and presentation skills.